South Africa welcomes the recently concluded first round of negotiations held on 5-6 December 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland on the situation in Western Sahara.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, welcomed these positive developments and stated: “South Africa is pleased that Morocco and the Polisario Front have been able to meet to seek a political solution to the conflict. South Africa is hopeful that this negotiations process, led by the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, former President Horst Köhler of Germany, will lead to a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”
The negotiations are taking place in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2440 adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2018, which called on the parties to show “political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue.” The resolution emphasised the importance of a renewed commitment by the parties to advancing the political process. The meeting was held after six years of suspended negotiations and will be followed by a second round-table meeting in the first quarter of 2019.
Minister Sisulu added that: “It is our hope that these negotiations is a step in the right direction towards reviving the long-stalled talks between the Polisario Front and Morocco. South Africa will utilise its upcoming term on the UN Security Council to call on the UN to continue to support the right to self determination of the people of Western Sahara.”